Composing problems

Im not sure has this been asked before but anyways. While composing new songs Alone or with band we mostly struggle with transitions from Part to Part eg. Intro-verse or verse-prechorus/chorus. Usually it’s sketchy drum fill with full note chord. Lately i’ve tried to listen music and Focus how My favourite bands solved that small piece. Im hoping for tips and advice how to work on them.
Genre is bit hard to define but id say post-hardcore with progressive elements is close.


I think it depends on what you are going for between an A and a B section. You want them to be distinct enough that you can tell there has been a change. There are three main ways, rhythmically (which sounds like you are thinking about), harmonically (chord changes etc) or melodically (usually the lyrics are where we can distinguish the sections). In blues, they often use a “turn around” to lead you back to the I Chord. I don’t think there is one tried and true formula though. Bands like Tool often use changes in both tempo and poly-rhythms. There are some other natural chord progressions. Modulation is probably the most common, method. Maybe this video will help out: Transitions


Great question @Ode.

Yep. This is a good point. There may be commonalities in different music styles but I don’t think anyone can say “do it this way” since this is one way you can put your own artistic stamp on something.

I would like to hear what advice @JoshFossgreen and @Gio have to offer on this one.


100% this.

I’ve found that every transition in a song - whether somebody wrote the perfect ‘transition part’ or whether you just slam from Riff 1 directly to Riff 2 - there is one thing that sells the transition every time.


If everyone in the band knows a transition is coming and they anticipate it, the transition is sold. If someone in the band forgets, isn’t thinking about it, isn’t trying to musically commit to the transition, it won’t be convincing.

I did a session 2 weeks ago, and that was our problem. It was selling the transition back to the chorus. And the things that were said in the studio weren’t “make a new part” or “play a bigger fill” it’s COMMIT TO THE PART.
Once everyone is playing with confidence, you can lead peoples ears anywhere, cool transition part or no cool transition part.

When I think of post-hardcore, there are so many hit-a-wall, whip-you-around transitions where they just start playing a new thing. But the commitment is 110%, and even when the transition feels crazy, 2 seconds later you’re in a new world and you’re rolling with the new riff.

Hope that helps.


Thanks for useful advice @Gio and @Sully
Maybe little bit of chaos is good from time to time.


I’m in the same boat. Transitions are tricky. I also struggle with writing a bridge. Verse and Chorus come pretty easily though. What I have found has helped me a lot is working on covers of songs. This has hugely increased my knowledge of song structure and helped with the elements above. For transitions, I find most songs I’ve done just add some spice to the last measure in a bar before the change. I still find it pretty hard to come up with a chorus though.

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The closest I’ve seen to a working formula would be in the 12 Bar Blues, but even here there are variations.

4 bars of I7, followed by 2 bars of IV7, followed by 2 bars of I7, followed by 1 bar of V7, followed by 1 bar of IV7 followed by 2 bars of 17 , than back around to the beginning, and so on and so on.

There are some variations such as a quick change in the first 4 bars and some things may change in the last three bars. The last 2 bars are known as the turnaround BUT 99% of the 12 Bar Blues use only the I IV and V of the sections of the Key signature, which is usually a minor key, and the chords are all Dominant 7th chords.
Makes it easy if someone calls ‘Let’s do a slow 12 Bar Blus in E’.

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Yep, probably the closest thing you would find to some standard form. But, as you said even 12 bar blues can vary…especially the turnaround

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